Video games: Mario weeps for you.

video games, vintage, nintendo

I just stumped some kids by making Mario jump.

I’m worried about the next generation of kids.  I read this article yesterday on Play4Real and it basically says they can’t finish the first level of the original Super Mario Bros. That’s world 1-1…they can’t get to the flag at the end.  My junior high school self scoffs at them.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people?  The game couldn’t be simpler!  You run to the right. You jump over stuff to avoid death. If you are lucky, you get big and then you get to shoot fire at those random things in your way.

Apparently, these kids (or possibly adults) couldn’t grasp these concepts.

Wait. You know what is simpler?  Donkey Kong. You basically climb a broken down structure to save a princess from a giant gorilla.  You don’t get to shoot anything. If you are lucky, you get a hammer for a few seconds to pound the barrels.  Otherwise, you just have to run and jump. I wouldn’t be shocked if they looked at the gaming console and were baffled by the joystick.

Why is this concept so difficult for the kids today? I was 12 when I first played Super Mario Bros. I didn’t read the fucking manual and I still figured it out.  I fell down a hole and realized I probably shouldn’t do that again. I caught a coin and it didn’t kill me so I got a few more.  I also noted that the game was COUNTING how many of those things I kept getting, so I got more as I ran to the right.

It’s interesting that the kids wanted to have more right away in the game.  God forbid they have to earn the right to shoot fire at a Goomba.

Now I know why my nephew thought I was a genius when we played the Wii version of Super Mario Bros. Of course, he’s six years old, so he gets a pass on the not using the run button. If he was 13, I’d have an issue.

Forget it. I blame the parents.  Why are they not teaching their kids about the history of video games? Heck, when I was six or seven we had an Atari and my parents would play with me and my sister. I wonder if Space Invaders would blow those kids minds? They’d probably have a fit if they had to play Pong.

It’s like with movies.  You shouldn’t just be fed a diet of what is currently in theaters blowing up various American landmarks.  You should watch the classics and a wide variety of genres, not just the 15th installment of the Fast and/or the Furious or Saw 12.

If you don’t expand your horizons and use your brain, you will never pass world 1-1 and get to see the various obstacles Mario has to encounter before he reaches Bowser.

Gen X, did you know we were so smart back then?  And our parents thought we were slackers for playing video games.  We showed them!

Get out of my mind!

video game, Facebook

Screen shot from iPhone

I’m not sure how it started, but I can’t stop playing Candy Crush Saga.  OK, obviously that’s not true because I’m not playing it right now.  But it has seeped into my subconscious.  I do know that it all began on Facebook.

Did you ever play Tetris as a kid? Then you had Tetris dreams like I did.  It’s not so much that I’m having Candy Crush Saga dreams…I have had them, but this game is odd. I’ll be doing something mundane (going to the bathroom) and suddenly an image of green, yellow and red candies appears in my mind.  Instantly, I look for a pattern and then realize I’m not playing that damn game.

What the hell is going on with me?  Is it some kind of sweet induced mind control? No, because I find myself hating those chocolate pieces that grow randomly.

I know it’s not just me.  Paul is having the same thing going on.  And that’s all my fault because I started playing that game first…he saw me and got hooked.

I’m trying like hell not to play that game.  There are tons of things to keep me busy, but I keep finding myself logging into Facebook and looking for those damn pieces of candy.

video games, Facebook

Screen shot from iPhone

Dreaming is always weird.  I don’t remember my dreams every night.  According to that article I linked from Scientific American, dreaming might be a reinforcement of a learned task.  It’s probably way more complicated than that.  Emotions certainly play a part in dreaming.  It also doesn’t explain why I suddenly have those images of candies pop up into my awareness at random while awake.

You kids and your video games!

Short of shaking my fist in the air, I am confused by today’s video games. Back in my day, they were simple. Super Mario Brothers was simple. You ran to the right and jumped over (or shot at) whatever got in your way. Tetris, never ended. It just got faster and more anxiety laden. The bricks never stopped! Pac-Man? Just eat the pills. Eat them before the ghosts get you!

Star Wars video game

I was watching my 6 year old nephew play some random Star Wars game on the Wii, “What the heck are you supposed to do in this game?”

“I don’t know. That’s part of the game.”

That’s annoying, just like JarJar Binks.

Just wandering around Mos Eisely spaceport? Knocking crap over with your light saber? Can’t Yoda pop up and say, “Go to the Cantina, you must,” or something?

Half of the games today look like a freaking cartoon or movie. I don’t know what’s going on.

OK, I will admit to liking games like the Sims and Animal Crossing. They have no point and are pretty much just glorified paper dolls, but you know that going in. There’s no “missions” with no direction. I need some sort of context in my gaming. I need to see a challenge, not try to figure out what the challenge might be and then attempt it.

And what’s with all the character choices? There were two in Super Mario Bros and one in Pac-Man. Do you really need to be some random Jedi who had maybe three seconds of screen time? You can be the Gonk Droid for crying out loud! What does the Gonk Droid do? Nothing! Why is it even a choice?